It was from Mission: Impossible 3 (2006) that the franchise began to strike a balance between pace (faster than the first) and history (more elaborate than the previous one). In addition, JJ Abrams' debut as a director on the big screen introduced two important secondary characters, Julia (Michelle Monaghan) and Benji (Simon Pegg) - he established himself as the second most frequent supporting actor, second only to Luther (Ving Rhames), the single that appears in all the films together with Ethan. After the well-executed Ghost Protocol (2011), commanded by Brad Bird, the series gained a very interesting touch with the arrival of Christopher McQuarrie. As a screenwriter, he smartly took advantage of the mention of the Union at the end of the previous film to develop the Rogue Nation plot (2015), which brought Ethan, Luther and Benji chasing this terrorist organization, headed by Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), and at the same time, dealing with the risk of dissolution of the IMF as a result of the Ghost Protocol events - this created a hitherto unprecedented sense of continuity between the two films.
The title's Fallout has several meanings - among them 'Side Effect', 'Rest' and 'Radioactive Dust'. In the film we have a literal and figurative meaning at the same time. There is a real threat of nuclear bomb and also the consequences of the choices that our protagonist Ethan Hunt made in his life, when the past comes back to haunt him, what remains of all his good deeds. This sixth part of the franchise continues several of the situations established in the previous work, Rogue nation, also directed by Christopher McQuarrie. In addition, the filmmaker takes up other previous ideas, exploring the twists that marked the first and third films, as well as the notion of loyalty to the team members, seen in the third and fourth, and the protection of loved ones, as in the second and in the bedroom. This not only creates thematic unity in the series but also helps to reinforce the protagonist's personality.
Even repeating starting points previously seen, such as the rescue of nuclear weapons, the dismantling of secret associations and the search for double agents, there is a new topic to be discussed in the "Fallout". Something that was always present in Hunt's story, but that had never been addressed literally: his own humanity. This is the greatest homage that the film pays to the complete saga. After all, how to forget how many times the agent has already put his life, and that of all humanity, in danger to save those he loves. That relay from before, with forgettable characters replacing forgettable characters, no longer exists. Exceptional control by the filmmaker in what he wants for the franchise, in the second film under his command, is exactly what allows Mission: Impossible - Fallout to be an apex of the genre.
McQuarrie tells a story, in the usual conspiratorial molds, being told under a superficial layer. Far from being simplistic, but also far from extreme complexity or wit, what is being told is not very impressive. The motivations for the antagonists follow, in short, the classic recipe, but the central issue is not in the functional story, however, in the exciting narrative, which drives events to another dimension and allows the Fallout to be the great achievement of the genre in which finds. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to characterize the feature film as one of the most energetic American action productions of recent years. By also having control over the script, McQuarrie invents and reinvents the antics related to the iconic twists, filling his project with countless of them, but never too much forcing them. Each turnaround is an impulse, which multiplies our interest and involvement in the film. Cinema is about action, not wanting to be anything more, with clever metaphors or some biblical allegory to show how intellectual McQuarrie is. The impossible happens on the scene, however, we do not discredit what we see, because the feature film, unlike others of the genre, has self-awareness of what it is, thus allowing the suspension of disbelief to be combined with entertainment that only values McQuarrie's work.
The screenwriter and director reconstructed the genre cinema with Mission: Impossible - Fallout: the action received more dramatic layers (without plummeting to melodramas or clichés); Ethan Hunt was decentralized from the plot despite obviously being the protagonist; women received an importance ranging from the femme fatalle of Vanessa Kirby with her White Widow to the development of the fantastic Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) - who repeats her participation; the exaggerated comic relief gave way to a more restrained Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and without losing his personality; Ving Rhames with his Luther Stickell received much more importance (as it might have happened some time ago); and the villain went from being episodic and one-dimensional to being of rare complexity in action films - so rare that the last one that reached the depth of Solomon Lane (the spectacular Sean Harris) must have been Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard, 1988 (30 years ago).
McQuarrie, likewise, surrenders to the film with such competence that the action scenes directed by John Woo in 2000 are instantly forgotten. That choreographed movement by Woo gives space to McQuarrie's restless camera, which, even though unstoppable, manages to be very well understood. This same camera, positioned for several counter-plunges (below eye level and facing upwards), magnifies the character of Henry Cavill (the intimidating of so big and strong August Walker) and strengthens the excellent performance of the current Superman. Here, more than ever, we see scenes of visceral struggles, of high physical vigor, impact and realism - the bathroom scene and the final fight on the precipice are the greatest examples - and they do not show that they are choreographed.
The action is practically uninterrupted and if, in the end, the reminder is that the film started out slow and then started, it is a problem of perspective. This chapter extrapolates and raises to the maximum everything that has been shown so far. Christopher McQuarie's direction knows how to create magnificent action scenes mixed with tension and a sense of urgency, making the audience emotional, tense, twist and be impressed over the two and twenty hours of footage. Again we have everything and a little more than expected from the series, which improves and challenges itself more and more throughout the franchise. We have scenes of jumping from a plane in the air in a phenomenal sequence plane, chases at extremely high speed involving motorcycles, cars and trucks through the streets of Paris, the whole passage in London (highlighting the rush of Hunt and the jumps between buildings in the hunt for the villain of the production) and, obviously, the scenes in Kashmir that make up the best last act of recent cinema times, combining tension with the rest of the IMF group trying to defuse two nuclear bombs while Hunt stars in a helicopter chase that culminates in a visceral struggle on the edge of a precipice. The film abuses the practical effects and it is difficult to differentiate what has CGI from the real. Beautiful technical work.
The most impressive thing is to see how Cruise still avoids the use of stunts in most scenes. Not exactly because of the difficulty of these, which are really difficult without any further obstacles, but because of their age. In one scene, the actor even broke his ankle and went uncut, limping, but firmly on his Ethan's body (and delayed filming later, of course). Cruise is undoubtedly an actor who is never limited to an "autopilot". Fly helicopters - and hang from them! -, driving cars at high speed, jumping over buildings and running as if there was no tomorrow, all done in the most realistic way possible, even if we are facing a character who practices impossible acts are some of his most notable feats. This without mentioning the most dramatic part that the actor knows how to conduct in full.
Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames return and fit the plot very well. Other prominent returns are that of Rebecca Ferguson who returns to deepen his personal dilemmas and his relationship with Hunt, both actors have an enviable chemistry and Sean Harris who returns to give life to the villain of the previous feature, here he keeps talking little, but his ambitions are much clearer and he serves as a "ladder" for the real antagonist of the feature. In the new additions the one who steals the show is Henry Cavill in the role of a government agent who is tasked with watching and caring for Hunt. The actor has an enviable physique and if he is not impressed by his performance, he is not to be desired in terms of beating and other action scenes in the feature.
With an accelerated and uninterrupted soundtrack composed by Lorne Balfe, referring almost directly to Hans Zimmer, it makes the Fallout clearly result in a bigger Mission: Impossible. The soundtrack that anguishes and carries us on our shoulders throughout the projection, combined with an unbelievable sound design, making us feel every punch delivered and received by Hunt, "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" is the best film of all the franchise. Technically and emotionally. Mission: Impossible - Fallout wins in a historic process. In times when genre cinema has been gaining more and more space (see the horror), the action gains its first major representative.
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